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Hi Everyone! I have 5 Dogs ~Stihl-1yr old Siberian Husky, LeiLei-1 yr old Siberian Husky, Odie-3.5yr old mini daschund, Koda-4 yr old Chihuahua/toy fox terrier mix, and Lexi- 2.5 yr old toy fox terrier. I have been wanting to feed raw for awhile now, but to be quite honest I am very nervous about it! I am here to get as much info as possible and get lots of advice! I would like to start them this week since we are coming down to a few days of kibble left. I have a couple questions.

Is raw food relatively affordable for multi-pet households?

Where do I start? I have read to start with chicken first for about a month then start adding a species every week or two and see how they do. I have also read to just start with chicken muscle-type meat and bone for a couple weeks then add organs, is this right?


Is there anyone here in the Harrisburg, Pa area that have a co-op for meat. or suggestions of where to get meat cheap?

Thanks so much! Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hello and welcome! Glad that you are considering raw, and have come here to learn. So many people decide to switch without researching or joining a support group like the one we have here. We are always happy to answer all of your questions!

Is raw food affordable? Absoluetly!!! We have five dogs as well, three of which are Great Danes and the other two are wolf hybrid dog and a hound mutt. So we couldn't afford to feed anything but raw. If we went with feeding a high quality premium kibble we would spend twice what we do on raw human grade meats. Since you have five dogs, but most are small I would say that you could feed them for super cheap!

With that being said, you really do have to learn how to shop for meats. Living in or located close to a major city is a huge bonus. Most of the time you'll find a wholesale meat distributor or restaurant supply that will sell the 'throw away" cuts to you for a huge discount. We live in Denver and order most of our meat from Harvest Meats.

harrisburg PA meat distributors - Google Search

Co ops:

southeastPArawfeeders : Rawfeeding Bulk Buying Group

PA_NJrawfeedingnetwork : PA & NJ raw feeding network

NaturalFeeding-MD_DC_VA_PA : Raw Co-op, Support, & More!

BARFers : BARF-DE/MD/SoPA

We also buy meats that we see on sale at the grocery store. Anything less than $1 per pound is affordable to us. There is very little that we will pay more than that, game meats are an exception (venison, elk, llama, etc).

Posting ads on craigslist for taking freezer burned meat is also a great way to find awesome deals. We've probably scored a 1000+ pounds of free meat in the last year or so by doing this. You do have to go through it all and make sure that its appropriate to feed, we've come across some things that should be fed like sausages and cooked ham.

You will definitely want to start with chicken. I really, really want you to read through the link below. Then read it again for good measure. Then come back with all the questions you may have.

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

Good luck and don't hesitate to come back and ask ALL questions!
 

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Hey there. Welcome to the group. Raw feeding is cheaper than most of the premium brand dog foods. It's very easy to feed. Check out my web page linked in my sig. After you've read it, you will probably have specific questions. Come back and ask them.

Yes, it can be scary at first but you get over it pretty quickly. I think most everyone is scared before they feed the first few meals. After a couple of months, it'll seem just like feeding kibble. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A couple questions after reading Danemamas link~

1. Do you have to fast a dog for a whole day when switching, I know its prefered but why exactly, i understand their bodys digest kibble and raw differently..but would it be ok to start feeding raw the morning after feeding kibble the night before? Reason being several of my dogs get sick if they go too long between meals.

2. Should I remove any skin/fat from the chicken backs/quarters/drumsticks?

3. If I would introduce canned Tuna as my fish in the 3-4 week range..would i need to add some type of bone to this meal or will they be ok if they have bone in their previous or following meal?

4.What is the average price of fresh fish per pound, I know it depends what type of fish..but I just want to get a general idea.

5. With feeding raw, what treats do you use for training or just spoiling? ; )
 

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A couple questions after reading Danemamas link~

1. Do you have to fast a dog for a whole day when switching, I know its prefered but why exactly, i understand their bodys digest kibble and raw differently..but would it be ok to start feeding raw the morning after feeding kibble the night before?
Yes it is. I never fasted. Kibble for supper one night and raw chicken backs the next morning and never fed kibble again. Fasting for a day MIGHT help with possible digestive upsets because it gives the dog more time to rid itself of residual kibble junk.

2. Should I remove any skin/fat from the chicken backs/quarters/drumsticks?
Most people don't. If their dogs have digestive upset, removing excess skin and fat is a good way to help them get control again. Some people remove it from the beginning just to be extra cautious concerning diarrhea.

3. If I would introduce canned Tuna as my fish in the 3-4 week range..would i need to add some type of bone to this meal or will they be ok if they have bone in their previous or following meal?
No, its not necessary to feed bone every meal. I feed 2 or 3 boneless meals a week. Some people feed half the meals boneless.

4.What is the average price of fresh fish per pound, I know it depends what type of fish..but I just want to get a general idea.
I don't know. The only raw whole fish I feed is stuff people give me. The rest is canned.

5. With feeding raw, what treats do you use for training or just spoiling? ; )
I just feed regular commercial treats. They make up such a small amount of the diet as to make no difference. Others will tell you what they use.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok thanks for the quick reply! I think I may remove some skin just be safe for the transition! Also with fresh fish, such as trout I catch..does it need to be frozen first to kill any parasites? or is it ok just to feed to fresh?

Also my huskies will be a year old in a couple weeks, should I feed them more then 2-3%? They are pretty active we go to the dog park a couple times and week and go bikejoring for short spurts daily and maybe a long bikejor once every couple of weeks.
 

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I just feed regular commercial treats. They make up such a small amount of the diet as to make no difference. Others will tell you what they use.[/QUOTE]

RFD, I'm just a couple of weeks into the raw but haven't been giving treats because I thought they might sit in their stomachs like kibble does. So they don't have any significant impact on feeding raw? Thanks.

Brenda
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Brenda~ that was my thoughts too..i guess it depends on the amount of treats?

I use pea size treats for training throughout the day and my dogs always get some sort of biscuit at night before bed, otherwise they get sick too long between meals. Is this amount of treats ok with the raw?
 

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I'll have to leave that to those more experienced than me. I was asking my question to RawFedDogs but after I sent it I went to the Faw Feeding page and saw the thread on "Treats Other Than Rec Bones." Look over that and see if it helps.

Brenda
 
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